OD-YOLO: Robust Small Object Detection Model in Remote Sensing Image with a Novel Multi-Scale Feature Fusion

Yangcheng Bu, Hairong Ye, Zhixin Tie, Yanbing Chen, Dingming Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As remote sensing technology has advanced, the use of satellites and similar technologies has become increasingly prevalent in daily life. Now, it plays a crucial role in hydrology, agriculture, and geography. Nevertheless, because of the distinct qualities of remote sensing, including expansive scenes and small, densely packed targets, there are many challenges in detecting remote sensing objects. Those challenges lead to insufficient accuracy in remote sensing object detection. Consequently, developing a new model is essential to enhance the identification capabilities for objects in remote sensing imagery. To solve these constraints, we have designed the OD-YOLO approach that uses multi-scale feature fusion to improve the performance of the YOLOv8n model in small target detection. Firstly, traditional convolutions have poor recognition capabilities for certain geometric shapes. Therefore, in this paper, we introduce the Detection Refinement Module (DRmodule) into the backbone architecture. This module utilizes Deformable Convolutional Networks and the Hybrid Attention Transformer to strengthen the model’s capability for feature extraction from geometric shapes and blurred objects effectively. Meanwhile, based on the Feature Pyramid Network of YOLO, at the head of the model framework, this paper enhances the detection capability by introducing a Dynamic Head to strengthen the fusion of different scales features in the feature pyramid. Additionally, to address the issue of detecting small objects in remote sensing images, this paper specifically designs the OIoU loss function to finely describe the difference between the detection box and the true box, further enhancing model performance. Experiments on the VisDrone dataset show that OD-YOLO surpasses the compared models by at least 5.2% in mAP50 and 4.4% in mAP75, and experiments on the Foggy Cityscapes dataset demonstrated that OD-YOLO improved mAP by 6.5%, demonstrating outstanding results in tasks related to remote sensing images and adverse weather object detection. This work not only advances the research in remote sensing image analysis, but also provides effective technical support for the practical deployment of future remote sensing applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3596
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • YOLO
  • remote sensing
  • small object detection


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