The Microwave Imager Combined Active/Passive (MICAP) has been designed to simultaneously retrieve sea surface salinity (SSS), sea surface temperature (SST) and wind speed (WS), and its performance has also been preliminarily analyzed. To determine the influence of the first guess values uncertainties on the retrieved parameters of MICAP, the retrieval accuracies of SSS, SST, and WS are estimated at various noise levels. The results suggest that the errors on the retrieved SSS have not increased dues poorly known initial values of SST and WS, since the MICAP can simultaneously acquire SST information and correct ocean surface roughness. The main objective of this paper is to obtain the simplified instrument configuration of MICAP without loss of the SSS, SST, and WS retrieval accuracies. Comparisons are conducted between three different instrument configurations in retrieval mode, based on the simulation measurements of MICAP. The retrieval results tend to prove that, without the 23.8 GHz channel, the errors on the retrieved SSS, SST, and WS for MICAP could also satisfy the accuracy requirements well globally during only one satellite pass. By contrast, without the 1.26 GHz scatterometer, there are relatively large increases in the SSS, SST, and WS errors at middle/low latitudes.
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