In recent years, chaotic synchronization has received a lot of interest in applications in different fields, including in the design of private and secure communication systems. The purpose of this paper was to achieve the synchronization of the Méndez-Arellano-Cruz-Martínez (MACM) 3D chaotic system coupled in star topology. The MACM electronic circuit is used as chaotic nodes in the communication channels to achieve synchronization in the proposed star network; the corresponding electrical hardware in the slave stages receives the coupling signal from the master node. In addition, a novel application to the digital image encryption process is proposed using the coupled-star-network; and the switching parameter technique is finally used to transmit an image as an encrypted message from the master node to the slave coupled nodes. Finally, the cryptosystem is submitted to statistical tests in order to show the effectiveness in multi-user secure image applications.
Keywords: MACM; chaotic encryption; complex network synchronization; star coupled network.