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Accepted article at MDPI Remote Sensing

Small-Object Detection in Remote Sensing Images with End-to-End Edge-Enhanced GAN and Object Detector Network



Jakaria Rabbi, Nilanjan Ray, Matthias Schubert, Subir Chowdhury, Dennis Chao


The detection performance of small objects in remote sensing images has not been satisfactory compared to large objects, especially in low-resolution and noisy images. A generative adversarial network (GAN)-based model called enhanced super-resolution GAN (ESRGAN) showed remarkable image enhancement performance, but reconstructed images usually miss high-frequency edge information. Therefore, object detection performance showed degradation for small objects on recovered noisy and low-resolution remote sensing images. Inspired by the success of edge enhanced GAN (EEGAN) and ESRGAN, we applied a new edge-enhanced super-resolution GAN (EESRGAN) to improve the quality of remote sensing images and used different detector networks in an end-to-end manner where detector loss was backpropagated into the EESRGAN to improve the detection performance. We proposed an architecture with three components: ESRGAN, EEN, and Detection network. We used residual-in-residual dense blocks (RRDB) for both the ESRGAN and EEN, and for the detector network, we used a faster region-based convolutional network (FRCNN) (two-stage detector) and a single-shot multibox detector (SSD) (one stage detector). Extensive experiments on a public (car overhead with context) dataset and another self-assembled (oil and gas storage tank) satellite dataset showed superior performance of our method compared to the standalone state-of-the-art object detectors. more