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SMOS is the acronym for the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity mission by the European Space Agency (ESA) . Its single payload, the Microwave Imaging Radiometer using Aperture Synthesis (MIRAS), was launched in November 2009. After a six months Commissioning Phase SMOS entered in operational mode in May 2010. Since then SMOS has been delivering a large amount of data to successfully produce the first relevant scientific results. In order to provide accurate measurements, MIRAS requires a complex multi-step calibration procedure that was successfully tested both during pre-flight ground tests and Commissioning Phase activities. Additionally, an assessment of SMOS system performance in terms of short and long term stability, radiometric sensitivity and radiometric accuracy was also produced. In this context, this work is devoted to provide a high level overview of MIRAS calibration scheme by focusing on the rationale behind it.