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Critical infrastructure of HD coastal surveillance by CohuHD at Mission Bay Area

Critical infrastructure of HD coastal surveillance by CohuHD at Mission Bay Area
San Diego’s Mission Bay area is the largest manmade aquatic park in the country, consisting of 4,235 acres (17.14 km2 ), approximately 46% land and 54% water. The combined area makes Mission Bay the ninth largest municipally-owned park in the United States. 


The City of San Diego applied for and was awarded funding provided by the Federal Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) for a video surveillance system. The award was determined through an analysis of relative risk of terrorism faced by the 100 most populous metropolitan areas in the United States in accordance with the 9/11 Act. The UASI goals are to increase regional capability to protect Critical Infrastructure/Key Resource assets through deployment of security/surveillance equipment to provide increased protection from waterborne terrorist threats and criminal activity north of San Diego Harbor.


Due to the critical nature of the video system, the harsh coastal/marine environment and high reliability requirement for the system, CohuHD’s Helios cameras were selected. Mission Bay has a vast area and long line-of-sight distances. CohuHD’s 3960HD positioner cameras are fully up to the task of covering these, providing detailed HD imaging, powerful optical zoom lenses, and continuous 360° panning. These maximize the coverage area at each camera location. The main channel of Mission Bay leading to the Pacific Ocean is monitored by CohuHD’s 5970SD Series thermal positioner camera, fitted with a LWIR 640x480 bolometer and 100mm lens for long-range night vision capability.

Video Management Integration 

Integration of the CohuHD Helios camera with the Video Management System (VMS) utilizes the non-proprietary, industry standard ONVIF protocol, providing full service capabilities for viewing, recording and camera control capabilities without the need of dedicated and proprietary device drivers.


The Helios camera video and PTZ control are streamed over a wireless mesh radio network between the camera and the San Diego lifeguard headquarters in Mission Bay. The San Diego lifeguard service is the lead agency overseeing and performing the primary monitoring of the cameras. The Bay is monitored for various types of crime, terrorist activity, public safety incidents, marine accidents, and for assessment and deployment of proper services for resolution of these events.

Darren Pudgil, San Diego Mayor’s Spokesperson, explains that the video surveillance cameras serve as a vital evidentiary tool while also forestalling crime in the area. “There are hundreds of thousands of people who visit Mission Bay and there are criminal incidents there and there’s potential for terrorism too.” With enhanced surveillance, San Diego Police, lifeguards, the Coast Guard, and the Department of Homeland Security will have direct access to the video footage, allowing them to monitor any suspicious activity. 

General information


• Department of Homeland Security 
• San Diego Life Guard 
• San Diego Police Department 
• US Coast Guard 


• Fourteen (14) CohuHD 3960HD High Definition Camera Positioners 
• One (1) CohuHD 5970SD 640x480 LWIR Thermal Camera Positioner 
• Network of Firetide Wireless Mesh Communication Backbone 
• ONSSI Ocularis VMS System 
• ONVIF Camera/VMS Integration

Product Adopted:
Network Cameras

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