The Cusped Field Thruster (CFT) concept has demonstrated significantly improved performance over the Hall Effect Thruster and the Gridded Ion Thruster; however, little is understood about the complexities of the interactions and interdependencies of the geometrical, magnetic and ion beam properties of the thruster. This study applies an advanced design methodology combining a modified power distribution calculation and evolutionary algorithms assisted by surrogate modeling to a multi-objective design optimization for the performance optimization and characterization of the CFT. Optimization is performed for maximization of performance defined by five design parameters (i.e., anode voltage, anode current, mass flow rate, and magnet radii), simultaneously aiming to maximize three objectives; that is, thrust, efficiency and specific impulse. Statistical methods based on global sensitivity analysis are employed to assess the optimization results in conjunction with surrogate models to identify key design factors with respect to the three design objectives and additional performance measures. The research indicates that the anode current and the Outer Magnet Radius have the greatest effect on the performance parameters. An optimal value for the anode current is determined, and a trend towards maximizing anode potential and mass flow rate is observed.
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