I have been very busy getting all of my major project assets uploaded to my website, but I was still able to find some time to create a prototype of our proprietary network monitoring software! I used a software called Pixlr Editor, which is basically a free, online version of Photoshop. I have used this software to create graphics in the past, and I think this turned out pretty well.
Because Wireless Defender is for business owners who might not be too aware of how networking works, I made sure that the interface was very clear and easy to read, compared to other network monitoring software.
Technology Innovation Planning
As I mentioned in the last blog post, I have very little experience in 3D modeling, but I am very excited with how these turned out. My biggest resource was YouTube tutorials to figure out the majority of actually modeling the objects, but I struggled most with the coloring and texturing in Blender. I didn't take the 3D Modeling & Animation course at my school, but my friend did, so he helped show me how to manipulate lighting, coloring the shield and router, and texture the router with an image of grey fabric.
Computer Science Creativity/Innovation Technology
As the date of Expo quickly approaches, I am beginning to think about my booth design and some elements that are crucial to efficiently and accurately displaying my project. Because my product/technology is very technical, and people who are not as familiar with radio frequency behaviors, I figured that the best way to display my project is through a 3D model/animation. I am using a software called Blender which I have used in the past to make 3D models, however I have never used this to animate. This animation will loop over and over in my booth, and I can use this as a reference to visually display the technical function of both the router and shield.
So far, I have only developed the wireframe 3D model, and I still need to work on object texturing and shading to make it as realistic as I can.
In an effort to extend my technologies to local information technology companies in the area, I set up a day to display my product at QScend Technologies in Waterbury, CT. I also had the opportunity to speak to computer networking & cybersecurity employees about my project, which was very exciting.
Computer Science Mentors Technology
provide me with the to many questions that I had about how frequency and antenna power can affect the signal strength and coverage of a Wi-Fi signal. Although he mainly manufactures large scale antennas for cell providers and enterprise networks, his knowledge of RF behaviors is relative and applicable to a smaller scale. Thanks again to Tom from RF Engineering and Energy Resource for your amazing and much appreciated help.
Most of the data collection is complete, and now it is time for data analysis. I have ran network strength and network speed tests on all of the core materials of the shield, and it is somewhat difficult to sort through relevant information. I need to figure out which metal affects the network speed the most, and to do this, I need to write another Python program that can sort through the data output, and find common trends.
The trends that the program identifies will help me figure out which material is best for slowing down RF signals. Once I have identified the most effective material in blocking Wi-Fi signals, I will do more experimentation on the way that the shape and orientation of the material affects the signal.
Computer Science Technology Experiment
I have been in contact with a few people from different professions in the field of cybersecurity, from email security systems, to penetration testers, to network administrators. I contacted the Chief Outreach Officer (C.O.O.) of Mimecast Security, AJ Steffenberg, and he was able to get me into contact with a plethora of cybersecurity analysts from many different companies.
Another group, called the IT Install Nightmares, have provided me with many resources that I can use to further solidify my proof of concept, along with a lot of useful advice on how to proceed with my project.
Once my formal lab report is finished, I will have it read over by one or more of my mentors with network security experience in case anything needs to be clarified further.
Planning Experiment Mentors
I have received all of the materials that I need for my experiment, generously provided by EdAdvance. On the left is the dual-band router, and on the right is the directional antenna and u.Fl cable needed to connect the antenna to the motherboard. If all goes as planned, the experiment should conclude this week!
I have began planning my experiment. I will be testing the effectiveness of various materials, shapes of the prototype "shield", among other factors. I have ordered all of the necessary materials, and will be conducting this experiment within the next two weeks or so.