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The H2O Antarctica Microwave Stratospheric and Tropospheric Radiometers (HAMSTRAD) program aims to develop two ground-based microwave radiometers to sound tropospheric and stratospheric water vapor (H2O) above Dome C (Concordia Station), Antarctica (75??06' S, 123??21'E, 3233 m asml), an extremely cold and dry environment, over decades. By using state-of-the-art technology, the HAMSTRAD-Tropo radiometer uses spectral information in the domains 51-59 GHz (oxygen line) and 169-197 GHz (water vapor line) to derive accurate tropospheric profiles of temperature (with accuracy ranging from 1 to 2 K) and low absolute humidity (with accuracy ranging from 0.02 to 0.05 g ?? m-3), together with integrated water vapor (with accuracy of about 0.008 kg ?? m-2) and liquid water path. Prior to its installation at Dome C in January 2009, the fully automated radiometer has been deployed at the Pic du Midi (PdM, 42??56'N, 0??08'E, 2877 m asml, France) in February 2008 and was in operation for five months. Preliminary comparisons with radio soundings particularly launched in the vicinity of PdM in February 2008 and the outputs from the mesoscale MESO-NH model show a great consistency to within 0.2-0.3 g ?? m-3 between all absolute humidity data sets whatever the atmosphere considered (extremely dry or wet).