The Solenoid Inductance Calculator was developed by the NASA Kennedy Space Center Applied Physics Laboratory. This MS Windows software application can be used to compute a close approximation of the inductance of a cylindrical solenoid of arbitrary dimensions.
Four inductance calculations are performed; the first three are based on various "handbook" formulas. "Model-4" is based on the first principles approach where the inductance is computed by means of a double summation of the magnetic field potential due to a circular wire loop. The Inductance Calculator can be used to estimate the inductance of a wide variety of air-wrapped, cylindrical solenoid geometries, including multiple layered winding.
The usual engineering method of computing inductance of a solenoid is to first find a handbook formula that most closely resembles that particular solenoid geometry. Afterward, a fine-tuning is preformed when building the coil by adding or subtracting loops of wire. For many applications, it is desirable to have a better method of estimation the inductance before reaching the build stage. That is the primary motivation of the Inductance Calculator and its method of using magnetic vector potential for providing a more precise estimate of inductance, which is not limited to a specific range of coil geometry values.