The specifications of the subsystems that compound a radiometer interferometer devoted to Earth observation are of main concern because they set the viability and final performance of such an instrument. The importance of these errors is related to the exact way they are generated, since this determines if a particular calibration procedure is capable of removing them or if they remain as residual errors. This paper presents a general method to analyze system errors. This method is used to analyze in detail the amplitude and phase errors of the receivers and their impact on the radiometric resolution. Special attention has been paid to nonseparable errors, since foreseen calibration procedures can only deal with separable phase and amplitude terms. Finally, the results have been used to set the receiver requirements of the instrument called MIRAS (microwave imaging radiometer by aperture synthesis), which is currently being developed by the European Space Agency (ESA).