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Only instruments on geostationary or comparable platforms can view global precipitation at the ~15-minute intervals necessary to monitor rapidly evolving convective events. This paper compares the abilities of ten such alternative passive microwave sensors to retrieve surface precipitation rates and hydrometeor water paths-five instruments observe various frequencies from 116 GHz to 429 GHz with a filled-aperture antenna, and five observe various frequencies from 52 to 191 GHz with a U-shaped aperture synthesis array. The analysis is based on neural network retrieval methods and 122 global MM5- simulated storms that are generally consistent with simultaneous AMSU observations. Several instruments show considerable promise for retrieving hydrometeor water paths and 15-minute average precipitation rates ~1-100 mm/h with spatial resolutions that vary from ~15 km to ~50 km. This space/time resolution is potentially adequate to support assimilation into cloud-resolving numerical weather prediction models.