Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2020.

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Christopher Kitts


Due to the high temperature, high pressure environments of deep-sea boreholes, using conventional electronics to capture temperature-specific water samples may be unreliable or even impossible. In this project, we introduce the use of shape memory alloys as thermal sensors to trigger an actuator to take a water sample at a specified temperature. A custom sampler that can interface with a variety of developed triggers was also designed and fabricated for use in deep-sea boreholes. All of the developed triggers are modular and designed for ease-of-use by users on a drillship with limited tools and equipment. The shape memory alloys used in these triggers vary in shape and activation temperatures, ranging from 80°C to 170°C. This thesis presents the development of the sampler as well as several of the trigger designs. Two of the trigger designs utilizing four different shape memory alloys were fabricated and tested in-house before deployment on IODP Expedition 385T.