Hacker Detection:  Jamming in a Wireless Sensor Network
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Hacker Detection: Jamming in a Wireless Sensor Network. John Davis Mansfield Legacy High School johndavis@misdmail.org. Nabila Rahman University of Texas, Arlington nabila.rahman@mavs.uta.edu. Eric Manuel Duncanville High School emanuel@duncanvilleisd.org. Matthew Wright

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Department of computer science and engineering the university of texas at arlington

Hacker Detection: Jamming in a Wireless Sensor Network

  • John Davis

  • Mansfield Legacy High School

  • johndavis@misdmail.org

  • Nabila Rahman

  • University of Texas, Arlington

  • nabila.rahman@mavs.uta.edu

  • Eric Manuel

  • Duncanville High School

  • emanuel@duncanvilleisd.org

  • Matthew Wright

  • University of Texas, Arlington

  • mwright@cse.uta.edu


Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) can be deployed for monitoring secure areas. Each sensor (or “mote”) communicates with nearby motes. A jammer attempts to interrupt this communication by flooding the motes with information, preventing meaningful communication between the motes.

The RET Program

The Research Experience for Teachers is a two-year experience for High School Science, Math and Technology teachers, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.



  • Research areas include:

  • Identifying neighbors.

  • Jamming detection.

  • Reporting jamming.

  • Determining the jammed areas.

  • Mapping the jammed areas.

  • Performance analysis.

  • Students will:

  • Calculate wavelength of EM waves.

  • Simulate a wireless network of cell phones (thought experiment).

  • Develop a method for identifying jamming and location of jammer.

  • Use laser pointers and diffraction gratings to demonstrate EM interference

Simulation Results

  • Calculations and Analysis are extrapolated through a program for different sized hypothetical networks.



Students are asked to write a short essay on the ethical and practical effects of jamming technology such as cell phones. Students also perform a traditional lab on electromagnetic interference patterns with laser pointers and diffraction gratings.

  • Students:

  • Calculate the wavelength of 2.4GHz EM radiation (used in motes and cellphones).

  • Simulate a network where they are the motes and text messages are the means of communication.

  • Describe how they would detect a jammer, and locate that jammer.

Lab Experiment

Functioning Network

Jammed Network

  • Department of Computer Science and Engineering

  • The University of Texas at Arlington

In this experiment, jammed motes are indicated by a blue light.