As a result of a pre-phase a study, founded by ESA, this paper presents the definition of a spaceborne Rain Radar, candidate instrument for earth explorer precipitation mission. Based upon the description of user requirements for such a dedicated mission, a mission analysis defines the most suitable space segment. At system level, a parametric analysis compares pros and cons of instrument concepts associated with rain rate retrieval algorithms in order to select the most performing one. Several trade-off analysis at subsystem level leads then to the definition of the proposed design. In particular, as pulse compression is implemented in order to increase the radar sensitivity, the selected method to achieve a pulse response with a side-lobe level below--60 dB is presented. Antenna is another critical rain radar subsystem and several designs are com pared: direct radiating array, single or dual reflector illuminated by single or dual feed arrays. At least, feasibility of centralized amplification using TWTA is compared with criticality of Tx/Rx modules for distributed amplification. Mass and power budgets of the designed instrument are summarized as well as standard deviations and bias of simulated rain rate retrieval profiles. The feasibility of a compliant rain radar instrument is therefore demonstrated.