The NOSAMS facility at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has started to develop and apply techniques for measuring very small samples on a standard Tandetron accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) system with high-current hemispherical Cs sputter ion sources. Over the past year, results on samples ranging from 7 to 160 ?g C showed both the feasibility of such analyses and the present limitations on reducing the size of solid carbon samples. One of the main factors affecting the AMS results is the dependence of a number of the beam optics parameters on the extracted ion beam current. The extracted currents range from 0.5 to 10 ?A of 12C? for the sample sizes given above. We here discuss the setup of the AMS system and methods for reliable small-sample measurements and give the AMS-related limits to sample size and the measurement uncertainties.