The SAM Suite
This illustration shows the instruments and subsystems of the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite on the Curiosity Rover of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Project. The suite consists of three instruments -- quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS), tunable laser spectrometer (TLS) and gas chromatograph (GC) -- and various subsystems including two wide range pumps (WRP), a sample manipulation system (SMS), a solid sample inlet tube (SSIT), a gas processing system and pyrolysis ovens.
SAM analyzes the gases in the Martian atmosphere and those evolved from heating the solid samples of scooped soil and drilled rock material. It provides information about the composition, abundance and isotopes of the sample.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project and the mission's Curiosity rover for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The rover was designed and assembled at JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.