A multiobjective design optimization (MDO) study has been conducted to characterize and maximize the performance of the downscaled cusped field thruster with respect to thrust, total efficiency, and specific impulse characterized by common design parameters: Anode voltage, anode current, mass flow rate, and geometric configuration. Particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations have been performed for the selected design points identified in MDO study for verification by accurately accounting for phenomena and performance losses that originate from uncertainties and complexities associated with the thruster design and physics. The fidelity of the models employed in MDOhas been enhanced owing to the new physical insights gained from the detailed analysis of the PIC results. The prediction errors associated with uncertainties such as the beam current and divergence angle have been reduced to within 5%.
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