The Monitoring Aerosols in the Ultraviolet Experiment (MAUVE) and the Short-Wave Infrared Polarimeter Experiment (SWIPE) instruments have been designed to collect, from a typical sun-synchronous polar orbit at 800 km altitude, global observations of the spectral, polarized, and directional radiance reflected by the earth-atmosphere system for a wide range of applications. Based on the heritage of the POLDER radiometer, the MAUVE/SWIPE instrument concept combines the merits of TOMS for observing in the ultra-violet, MISR for wide field-of-view range, MODIS, for multi-spectral aspects in the visible and near infrared, and the POLDER instrument for polarization. The instruments are camera systems with 2-dimensional detector arrays, allowing a 120-degree field-of-view with adequate ground resolution (i.e., 0.4 or 0.8 km at nadir) from satellite altitude. Multi-angle viewing is achieved by the along-track migration at spacecraft velocity of the 2-dimensional field-of-view. Between the cameras' optical assembly and detector array are two filter wheels, one carrying spectral filters, the other polarizing filters, allowing measurements of the first three Stokes parameters, I. Q, and V, of the incident radiation in 16 spectral bands optimally placed in the interval 350-2200 nm. The spectral range is 350-1050 nm for the MAUVE instrument and 1050-2200 nm for the SWIPE instrument. The radiometric requirements are defined to fully exploit the multi-angular, multi-spectral, and multi-polarized capability of the instruments. These include a wide dynamic range, a signal-to-noise ratio above 500 in all channels at maximum radiance level, i.e., when viewing a surface target of albedo equal to 1, and a noise-equivalent-differential reflectance better than 0.0005 at low signal level for a sun at zenith. To achieve daily global coverage, a pair of MAUVE and SWIPE instruments would be carried by each of two mini-satellites placed on interlaced orbits. The equator crossing time of the two satellites would be adjusted to allow simultaneous observations of the overlapping zone viewed from the two parallel orbits of the twin satellites. Using twin satellites instead of a single satellite would allow measurements in a more complete range of scattering angles. A MAUVE/SWIPE satellite mission would improve significantly the accuracy of ocean color observations from space, and will extend the retrieval of ocean optical properties to the ultra-violet, where they become very sensitive to detritus material and dissolved organic matter. It would also provide a complete description of the scattering and absorption properties of aerosol particles, as well as their size distribution and vertical distribution. Over land, the retrieved bidirectional reflectance function would allow a better classification of terrestrial vegetation and discrimination of surface types. The twin satellite concept, by providing stereoscopic capability, would offer the possibility to analyze the three-dimensional structure and radiative properties of cloud fields.