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Scalable Authenticated Communication in Drone Swarm Environment

Kyusuk Han,
Eiman Al Nuaimi,
Shamma Al Blooshi,
Rafail Psiakis,
Chan Yeob Yeun,


The drone swarm is a preferable way to deploy many drones for large-scale missions. Establishing secure communication among drones in drone swarms is essential as the fog drone controls all other edge drones in the swarm. Although many researchers proposed methods of authenticating drones, most of them are unsuitable for use in swarm environments as they require either the ground station during the authentication or expensive PKI-based crypto operations with limited flexibility and scalability. In this work, we propose an efficient and scalable authentication protocol for drone swarm environments, enabling mutual authentication between fog and edge drones without involving the ground station. Moreover, we show that the protocol enables the verification of the sender in group communication. Protocol evaluations show security requirements satisfaction while achieving 14 - 20 times less computation overhead as compared to PKI-based models.​​


UAV, Fog-Edge, Authentication, Drone swarm, Group communication

Citation Format:
Kyusuk Han, Eiman Al Nuaimi, Shamma Al Blooshi, Rafail Psiakis, Chan Yeob Yeun, "Scalable Authenticated Communication in Drone Swarm Environment," Journal of Internet Technology, vol. 25, no. 2 , pp. 255-265, Mar. 2024.

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