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The Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity mission will provide sea surface salinity maps over the oceans, beginning in late 2009. In this paper an ocean salinity error budget is described, an analysis needed to identify the magnitude of the error sources associated with the retrieval. Instrumental, external noise sources, and geophysical errors have been analyzed, stressing their relative impact. This paper includes results from previous studies, addressing the impact of multisource auxiliary sea surface temperature and wind speed data on the final salinity error. It provides, moreover, a sensitivity analysis to the uncertainty of the auxiliary salinity field. Salinity retrieval has been addressed in a wide set of configurations of the inversion algorithm.