Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Enabling secure image transmission in unmanned ...


Text available via DOI:

View graph of relations

Enabling secure image transmission in unmanned aerial vehicle using digital image watermarking with H-Grey optimization

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

Article number121190
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>29/02/2024
<mark>Journal</mark>Expert Systems with Applications
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date1/09/23
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Drone technology, also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), has advanced rapidly in the last decade owing to the huge number of users. This approach has an immense opportunity in areas like healthcare, agriculture, and forestry. However, the transmission of digital images via drone technology is associated with vulnerabilities and risks, due to a lack of efficient security solutions. Digital Image Watermarking (DIW) has emerged as a viable solution for digital image transmission in UAV applications. However, achieving robustness, security, and imperceptibility in a watermarking system at the same time is a difficult task. To address the aforementioned concerns, this paper proposes a secure digital image watermarking scheme in the hybrid DWT-SVD domain. The scaling factor is chosen adaptively from the hybrid Harmony-Grey Wolf (H-Grey) optimization algorithm to maintain a balance between imperceptibility and robustness. In addition, a novel symmetric cryptographic-based four-level encryption approach PSMD (Partitioning, Substituting, Merging, Division) is proposed to address UAV image security concerns by using Fibonacci and prime number series to generate two random keys. The proposed encryption scheme provides high security at low computational cost. The experimental results show that the visual quality and robustness are both high (Avg. PSNR = 41.27 dB and Avg. SSIM = 0.99, NC = 0.99, and BER = 0.0008 calculated for 100 images). The subjective and objective experimental analysis indicates that the proposed encryption scheme is highly secure and the computational cost is also low. The average embedding and extraction time is 0.25 s and 0.09 s It is resistant to various image processing attacks. A comparison with some of the most recent popular schemes confirms the scheme’s effectiveness. The presented DIW can be used for copyright protection, UAV image transmission applications, military applications, and other purposes.