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Aquarius is a combined passive/active L-band microwave instrument that is being developed to map the salinity field at the surface of the ocean from space. The data will support studies of the coupling between ocean circulation, global water cycle, and climate. Aquarius is part of the Aquarius/Satelite de Aplicaciones Cientiflcas-D mission, which is a partnership between the U.S. (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and Argentina (Comision Nacional de Actividades Espaciales). The primary science objective of this mission is to monitor the seasonal and interannual variation of the large-scale features of the surface salinity field in the open ocean with a spatial resolution of 150 km and a retrieval accuracy of 0.2 psu globally on a monthly basis.