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Monitoring of snow cover is crucial to the study of global climate changes for water resource management, as well as for flood and avalanche risk prevention. The sensitivity to snow characteristics of X-band backscattering of COSMO-SkyMed mission has been analyzed in the framework of experimental and model activities. X-band data have been found to contribute to the retrieval of the snow water equivalent (SWE), provided that the snow cover is characterized by a snow depth (SD) of roughly 60-70 cm (SWE >; 100-150 mm) and with relatively large crystal dimensions. Subsequently, an algorithm for retrieving SD or SWE has been developed and tested with experimental data collected on several ground stations.