In short

CENSUS (French acronym for CEntre for Nanosatellites in Sciences of the UniverSe) is the space campus of the ComUE PSL (Paris Sciences et Lettres). Supported and hosted at the Paris Observatory, an engineering room and other test rooms at Meudon are managed through CENSUS. Projects and technology development are fostered in the promising area of nano-satellites.

Within CENSUS we aim to support the design and realisation of nanosatellite projects, co-piloted by two recognized entities in space research and teaching in system engineering:

  • ESEP, Laboratory of Excellence designated "Space Exploration of Planetary Environments" (N°2011-LABX-030), is the promoter, and provides with scientific and technical experts at the space campus.
  • The OSAE, or Tools and Systems in Astronomy and Space master, decides on the pedagogical choices, makes the campus work and ensures smooth running of the projects.

Working structure

The strategy at CENSUS is based on a new way of working:

  • by accompanying and sharing ideas;
  • by developing a project incubator to explore different thematic and technological fields;
  • by supporting the realisation of projects,
  • by the implementation of methods specifically adapted to nanosatellite projects.

This strategy is built around three areas:

  • Scientific: does the project’s goal contribute to advancing science?
  • Pedagogical: Does the project provide training opportunities for students?
  • Technological: Does this project make progress in mastering the technologies of tomorrow?

Drawing on the human and material resources of PSL and the Paris Observatory, CENSUS is a cradle of NanoSats projects and provides an ecosystem conducive to the initial growth of projects. Thus the projects supported by CENSUS mature and materialise and benefit from different types of support:

  • system engineering: establish the main parameters of the mission, provide the project with methods and tools;
  • Means: Subjecting the various nanosat subsystems to tests and environments representative of the mission;
  • Expertise: Providing space environment experts to support student work.


CENSUS is managed by an operational team:

Science & strategy Direction: Coralie Neiner

Educational co-direction: Benoît Mosser

Technical co-direction: Boris Segret

Guiding Committee

In progress.

Support network

With the nanosat revolution happening, CENSUS was founded to animate a debate both between projects to propose specific solutions, and between projects and institutions to promote nanosats. This dialogue continues within CENSUS through the experiences of its founding bodies.

Scientific Committee

The Labex ESEP ensures the scientific orientation of CENSUS through the involvement of its scientific committee in the choice of which projects to support.

(click on the image)

The objectivity of the scientific committee is guaranteed by its composition: The Scientific Committee is composed of twelve experts, half of them are ESEP members, and the other half are external members selected for their expertise. For certain types of projects, other recognized foreign experts can be asked to join. (Advisory Committee)

As part of CENSUS, the Scientific Committee studies nanosat project proposals and decides on a selection for financial support.



CENSUS is the space hub of the Paris-Sciences-Lettres university group.

At the ComUE PSL scientists, executives, lawyers and engineers are trained at the highest level for all trades of research, innovation and creativity the heart of their business. The various training courses at PSL, including those of the Institute of Technology and Innovation, are intended provide with the skills to participate in nanosatellite student projects.

Centre and Campus:

The Paris Observatory hosts the CENSUS Centre space Campus at the site at Meudon.


The supporters of the CENSUS Center and Campus project are the Laboratory of Excellence "Spatial Exploration of Planetary Environments" (LabEx ESEP) for the organizational, stewardship and material management aspects and the expected research implications, and the OSAE Master for pedagogical aspect.

Other support:

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