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The objective of this paper is to investigate how the complementarity between low earth orbit (LEO) microwave (MW) and geostationary earth orbit (GEO) infrared (IR) radiometric measurements can be exploited for satellite rainfall detection and estimation. Rainfall retrieval is pursued at the space-time scale of typical geostationary observations, that is at a spatial resolution of few kilometers and a repetition period of few tens of minutes. The basic idea behind the investigated statistical integration methods follows an established approach consisting in using the satellite MW-based rain-rate estimates, assumed to be accurate enough, to calibrate spaceborne IR measurements on sufficiently limited subregions and time windows. The proposed methodologies are focused on new statistical approaches, namely the multivariate probability matching (MPM) and variance-constrained multiple regression (VMR). The MPM and VMR methods are rigorously formulated and systematically analyzed in terms of relative detection and estimation accuracy and computing efficiency. In order to demonstrate the potentiality of the proposed MW-IR combined rainfall algorithm (MICRA), three case studies are discussed, two on a global scale on November 1999 and 2000 and one over the Mediterranean area. A comprehensive set of statistical parameters for detection and estimation assessment is introduced to evaluate the error budget. For a comparative evaluation, the analysis of these case studies has been extended to similar techniques available in literature.