This paper introduces a novel methodology for object detection using genetic algorithms and morphological processing. The method employs a kind of object oriented structuring element, which are derived using genetic algorithm operating. The population of morphological filters iteratively evaluated according to a statistical performance index corresponding to object extraction ability, and evolves into an optimal structuring elements using the evolution principles of genetic search. Experimental results of object extraction in high resolution satellite images are presented to illustrate the merit and feasibility of the proposed method.© (2002) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.