This work describes the main effects that have to be taken into account to model the sea surface emission at L-band, and the existing approaches to perform the sea surface salinity retrieval from multiangular radiometric measurements. This manuscript reviews the activities carried out in these fields during the past years by the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) in collaboration with the Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM - CSIC). They cover the precise measurement of the dielectric permittivity of the seawater at L-band, the sea surface emissivity (including the effect of wind-driven waves, swell, currents, rain, and oil spills), the comparison of experimental data with numerical models, and the development of sea surface salinity retrieval algorithms for SMOS using multiangular radiometric data. The first salinity retrievals using 2D aperture synthesis radiometry are also presented. Copyright © 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.