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The European Space Agency SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity) mission aims at obtaining global maps of soil moisture and sea surface salinity from space for large scale and climatic studies. It uses an L-band (1400-1427 MHz) microwave interferometric radiometer by aperture synthesis (MIRAS) to measure brightness temperature at the Earth surface at horizontal and vertical polarizations (Th and Tv). These two parameters will be used together to retrieve the geophysical variables. The retrieval of salinity is a complex process that requires the knowledge of other environmental information and an accurate processing of the radiometer measurements, due to the narrow range of ocean brightness temperatures and the strong impact in the measured values of different geophysical parameters (as sea state) other than salinity. Here we present the baseline approach chosen by ESA to retrieve sea surface salinity from MIRAS data, as it has been developed and implemented by the joint team of scientists and engineers responsible for the SMOS ocean salinity level 2 prototype processor.