A System Architecture to Detect and Block Unwanted Wireless Signals in a Classroom (Short Paper)

Authors Daniel Barros , Paulo Barros , Emanuel Lomba , Vítor Ferreira , Pedro Pinto

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Author Details

Daniel Barros
  • Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo, Portugal
Paulo Barros
  • Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo, Portugal
Emanuel Lomba
  • Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo, Portugal
Vítor Ferreira
  • Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo, Portugal
Pedro Pinto
  • Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo, Portugal
  • ISMAI and INESC TEC, Porto

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Daniel Barros, Paulo Barros, Emanuel Lomba, Vítor Ferreira, and Pedro Pinto. A System Architecture to Detect and Block Unwanted Wireless Signals in a Classroom (Short Paper). In Second International Computer Programming Education Conference (ICPEC 2021). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 91, pp. 12:1-12:7, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)


The actual learning process in a school, college or university should take full advantage of the digital transformation. Computers, mobile phones, tablets or other electronic devices can be used in learning environments to improve learning experience and students performance. However, in a university campus, there are some activities where the use of connected devices, might be discouraged or even forbidden. Students should be discouraged to use their own devices in classes where they may become alienated or when their devices may cause any disturbance. Ultimately, their own devices should be forbidden in activities such as closed-book exams. This paper proposes a system architecture to detect or block unwanted wireless signals by students' mobile phones in a classroom. This architecture focuses on specific wireless signals from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth interfaces, and it is based on Software-Defined Radio (SDR) modules and a set of antennas with two configuration modes: detection mode and blocking mode. When in the detection mode, the architecture processes signals from the antennas, detects if there is any signal from Wi-Fi or Bluetooth interfaces and infers a position of the unwanted mobile device. In the blocking mode, the architecture generates noise in the same frequency range of Wi-Fi or Bluetooth interfaces, blocking any possible connection. The proposed architecture is designed to be used by professors to detect or block unwanted wireless signals from student devices when supervising closed-book exams, during specific periods of time.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Computer systems organization → Architectures
  • campus
  • classroom
  • closed-book exam
  • fraud
  • wireless
  • detection
  • blocking
  • Software-Defined Radio


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