A Sony PTZ camera is tied into a port-wide video management system powered by software from OnSSI
A significant upgrade in the fibre network included installation of multi-mode fibre optic cabling to camera locations

It takes an intricate and well-established security infrastructure to protect a port, even a small one such as the Port of West Sacramento. Following strict security regulations from the Department of Homeland Security and US Coast Guard, The Port made the commitment to install a new video surveillance system featuring video management software from OnSSI.

At the entrance to the Port, contract security officers from All Phase Security watch camera views of the port 24-hours-a-day in real-time, and they can also view video archives as needed. They conduct virtual tours of the premises with pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) to make sure all is well. Over 30 cameras, including Sony fixed cameras and PTZ models as well as FLIR thermal cameras, supply views throughout the port, and a video management software system from OnSSI provides a simplified, intuitive way to manage video feeds effectively.

“Digital systems are still pretty expensive, and it takes foresight to understand that the investment is worth it,” said Tim Huntsinger, Chief Operating Officer, All Phase Security, a consultant on the new video system installed at the port. “The city of West Sacramento is showing that a small city with a small port is willing to take on the challenge of installing a new system with an eye toward future growth.”

Port provides easy access

The inland Port of West Sacramento is located about 90 miles northeast of San Francisco, at the Sacramento River Deep Water Channel in the City of West Sacramento. Centered in one of the richest agricultural and industrial regions in the world, the port has been an integral part of the community since terminal construction began in 1962 and the first ship arrived in 1963. The deep-water port helps to lower freight costs, create local jobs and provide industrial development to the area.

The 43-mile channel reaches from the Sacramento River into Rio Vista through the Delta into the City of West Sacramento, located in Yolo County. In 2005, the City of West Sacramento took control of the Port of Sacramento and renamed it in 2008 as the Port of West Sacramento. The port provides easy access to shipping for farmers in Northern California, especially those exporting bagged and bulk rice.

When the Port of West Sacramento was looking to upgrade the video system, they brought All Phase Security in as a consultant. The project started in January 2010 and was completed the following August.

World Telecom & Surveillance employees initially set up portable surveillance trailers to view the opposite shore and access to the waterway
The signals from over 30 cameras across the facility are transmitted across the fibre-optic networks

All Phase Security handles physical security at the port and employs about 10 security officers whose main missions are access control and perimeter security. All Phase Security reports directly to port management, which is part of the West Sacramento city staff. Officers include a roving vessel patrol in the port and a 24-hour officer stationed at the gate to monitor ingress/egress and to keep watch on a monitor displaying video from the surveillance system.

System installer was World Telecom & Surveillance, Inc. (WT&S), a low-voltage contractor for 10 years, which has seen its business evolve into the surveillance field for the last six years. Having witnessed the evolution of voice-over-IP in the telecom market, World Telecom was well-equipped to oversee the Port of West Sacramento's transition to networked video.

Fibre-Optic and wireless transmission


The signals from over 30 cameras located throughout the port's premises are transmitted across fibre-optic networks, including about 30,000 feet of new fibre installed by World Telecom & Surveillance, Inc., and using wireless devices. There is 24-strand single mode fibre from each guard station to the server, a Dynamic Network Factory Security (DNF Security) Seahawk server that is the video management engine. It is attached to a RAID5 array for 24 terabytes of video storage (about 30 days). The server, installed in an above-ground vault, runs OnSSI's IP-based video surveillance management software.

Two DNF Security video monitoring workstations – one at each guard gate– run OnSSI's Ocularis Client. The network is used solely for the video system; a separate network is used for the port's day-to-day business functions. Six-strand multimode fibre runs from the server to each network location. The use of fibre-optic cables enables network signals to be transmitted for longer distances than Ethernet cabling. A significant upgrade in the fibre network was undertaken to accommodate the video network; the fibre upgrade will also likely find additional uses in the future as the port grows.

Huntsinger likes the convenient scalability of the OnSSI system: “In the future as the port grows, having an OnSSI system allows for ease of growth”...

During the original installation, OnSSI's legacy NetGuard EVS was being used as the client viewing software. Ocularis Client was later installed after the project was complete. The operators like the virtual joystick for PTZ and the ability to browse recorded video based on time increments or activity. They also like that the screen layout is simpler and “flows much better,” according to Charlie Rossiter, World Telecom and Surveillance Technician. Port management can access the system remotely using the city's IT network, but would only use it when looking for something specific.

The Ocularis platform from OnSSI runs on standard IT servers and adheres to and supports recognized industry standards, including integration with a range of physical security and camera devices. Ocularis Client provides a simplified, intuitive way to effectively manage video feeds and complex physical security systems. Ocularis also provides the power to investigate events using instant review and digital pan-tilt-zoom during live monitoring.

Targets can be detected automatically using video motion detection by a nearby camera. All Phase security officers can follow any moving targets operating PTZ cameras through Ocularis.

Across the Sacramento River from the port, on remote sites, two mobile wireless surveillance trailers, run by solar power and diesel generators, each include a roughly 30-foot-tall mast on which three Sony PTZ cameras and one FLIR pan and tilt thermal camera are mounted. Firetide HotPort 6000 wireless mesh nodes are used to transmit video signals from the surveillance trailers to the server. Battery backup and diesel generators ensure continuous power during the night. An upgrade is planned to provide solar panels large enough to allow the trailers to run solely on solar power.

The cameras across the river are used to view the opposite shore and access to the waterway. Offering views back at the physical facilities of the port, the cameras help to make sure no one is gaining unauthorized access. In case of a natural disaster or other emergency, the trailers could be redeployed to provide surveillance of other locations.

Mobile surveillance trailers offer video views of the physical facilities of the Port of West Sacramento, tied in wirelessly to video management software from OnSSI
OnSSI's legacy NetGuard EVS was being used as client viewing software
 The port also uses a Talk-A-Phone emergency broadcast system, which is not integrated with the OnSSI system although the two are used together. For example, if video identifies an intruder, the Talk-A-Phone system can be used to tell them to exit the water space.

Protecting the perimeter

The system secures the perimeter against any trespassers and ensures the integrity of the fence line. The port is located along a main roadway in West Sacramento, where vehicle, foot and bike traffic are common. If there are fishermen along the waterway, security looks to make sure they maintain a position away from the port docks. Video feeds also help security officers look for any activity in the port that is out of the ordinary or involves a restricted area. They can view traffic patterns at the port, and view work crews, contractors or vendors working inside the ports. Cameras view along the roadways of the port, along the docks, and the waterway leading to the port.

Huntsinger likes the convenient scalability of the OnSSI system. “In the future as the port grows, having an OnSSI system allows for ease of growth,” he said. “Instead of dealing with analog systems needing multiple NVRs or DVRs, it's just a matter of licenses. And scalability is unlimited.” Software upgrades from OnSSI also ensure that the system will be state-of-the-art even several years from now.

OnSSI's ease of use simplifies the training curve for security personnel. Security officers can go back and research video using Ocularis tools. “Having 32 cameras and so much footage, it is very important to have the ability to do specific time-point searches so you don't have to scroll through hours of video,” said Huntsinger.

All Phase Security uses OnSSI exclusively as its video management system. “We looked at others, but we have been very impressed with OnSSI's usability, interface and scalability.” Huntsinger also favors the analytics packages offered by OnSSI, and the opportunities opened up by robust systems for his company in markets such as industrial and commercial enterprises. “It's a multi-faceted tool,” he said. He also acknowledges the technical support his company has received from OnSSI.

Huntsinger affirms that the Port of West Sacramento's investment in building an infrastructure to accommodate an IP-based video system is worth it and will provide additional benefits in the future.

All Phase security has a solid history using OnSSI software. The company started as a security services/guard service company and now employs 300 security officers. When All Phase Security entered the video surveillance arena in 2007, the company researched various video management software systems, came across OnSSI and was “extremely impressed,” said Huntsinger. OnSSI software is now the mainstay of the company's corporate monitoring center in West Sacramento. Their familiarity with the product convinced them it would be perfect for the Port of West Sacramento.

Download PDF version

In case you missed it

CES 2018: Security technologies influencing the consumer electronics market
CES 2018: Security technologies influencing the consumer electronics market

Security is more-than-ever linked to consumer electronics, especially in the residential/smart home market. CES 2018 in Las Vegas is therefore brimming with news that will have a direct impact on the security market, today and especially looking into the future. Products for the future of security   CES is a giant trade show for consumer electronics with 2.75 million net square feet of exhibitor space and featuring more than 3,900 exhibitors, including 900 startups - in contrast, ISC West has some 1,000 exhibitors. During the week-long show welcoming 170,000-plus attendees from 150 countries, more than 20,000 new products are being launched. The products incorporate ingredient technologies such as artificial intelligence and 5G that will also be familiar elements as the future of the security industry unfolds. Familiar players at security shows also have a presence at CES, and many consumer technologies on display offer a glimpse of what’s ahead for security The areas of consumer electronics and security are closely intertwined. For example, Apple recently expanded near-field communication (NFC) support to include the NDEF (NFC Data Exchange Format), which will likely accelerate the adoption of smartphones for access control credentialing. In another recent development, Amazon acquired Blink, a home security camera startup that offers wireless home security systems. The acquisition aligns with Amazon’s effort to offer more home devices. Key security technologies at CES 2018 Familiar players at security shows also have a presence at CES. For example, Bosch is highlighting its “Simply. Connected” portfolio of smart city technology to transform security as well as urban mobility, air quality and energy efficiency. Many consumer technologies on display offer a glimpse of what’s ahead for security. Are Panasonic’s 4K OLEDs with HDR10+ format or Sony’s A8F OLED televisions a preview of the future of security control room monitors? At CES, Johnson Controls is announcing support for Apple HomeKit now offered in their DSC iotega wireless security and automation solution. Consumers can manage both their security system and also other home automation abilities using Apple’s Home app, or Siri on their iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch. Interlogix is announcing new features and components of its UltraSync SmartHome system, including hands-free voice control, high-definition cameras, an LTE cellular module and soon-to-be-released doorbell camera. The areas of consumer electronics and security are closely intertwined Developments in crime awareness ADT has a high profile at CES, including the launch of its ADT Go mobile app, equipped with 24/7 emergency response from ADT’s live monitoring agents and backed by Life360’s location technology, providing emergency response, family connectivity, safety assistance and crime awareness.  ADT is also unveiling a video doorbell and expanding its monitoring to cybersecurity. IC Realtime is introducing Ella, a cloud-based deep-learning search engine that augments surveillance systems with natural language search capabilities across recorded video footage. Ella enables any surveillance or security cameras to recognise objects, colours, people, vehicles and animals. Ella was designed using the technology backbone of Camio, a startup founded by ex-Googlers who designed a simpler way to apply searching to streaming video feeds. It’s a “Google for video:” Users can type in queries such as “white truck” to find every relevant video clip. Smarter homes and smarter computers Do-it-yourself smart home security company Abode Systems announces iota, an all-in-one system giving customers more freedom and flexibility to build out and monitor their smart home. The new form factor has a built-in full-HD resolution camera enabling customers to see and hear what’s going on in their home 24/7 while a built-in gateway supports hundreds of devices to make homes more convenient, safer and more secure. There is also support for Apple HomeKit. Highly programmable and high-performance platforms will no doubt play a role in the future of video surveillance systems in our market  The Z-Wave Alliance will host 30-plus leading smart home brands in the Z-Wave pavilion at CES. A full walk-through home will demonstrate different brands working together to create one cohesive smart home experience. Sigma Designs unveils its 700-Series Z-Wave platform, including numerous performance and technology enhancements in energy-efficiency and RF performance. Personal protection in attendance Self-defence product company SABRE will debut a combination pepper spray with dual sound-effect personal alarm that “alternates between the traditional wailing sound and a primal scream, while a strobe blinks 19 times per second to disorient assailants.” SABRE’s Modern Fake Security Camera includes “sleek, realistic design to deter would-be thieves.” Chip maker Ambarella is introducing the CV1 4K Stereovision Processor with CFflow Computer Vision Architecture. The chip combines environmental perception with advances in deep neural network processing for a variety of applications, including video security cameras and fully autonomous drones. At CES, applications will focus on automotive uses, including advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), self-driving, electronic mirror and surround view systems. The highly programmable and high-performance platform will no doubt play a role in the future of video surveillance systems in our market. A full walk-through home will demonstrate different brands working together to create one cohesive smart home experience Extending home security and efficiency  The Ring whole-house security ecosystem creates a “Ring of Security” around homes and neighbourhoods. Products include “Stick Up” indoor/outdoor security cameras, integrated LED lighting, a “Ring Alarm” integrated bundle for $199 including a base station, keypad, contact sensor, and Z-Wave extender. “Ring Protect Plans” include 24/7 professional monitoring. The “Streety” phone app, from Vivint Smart Home, extends home security into the neighbourhood. Streety makes it easy for neighbours to monitor neighbourhood activity through a network of shared residential cameras. They can keep an eye on kids, cars and property through live video feeds and use recorded video clips to investigate incidents. A new device making its debut at CES is the Walker “commercialised biped robot,” from UBTECH Robotics, which provides a complete home butler service and is designed to ease the day-to-day operations of a busy home or office. The varied of functions includes video surveillance monitoring, security patrol monitoring, motion detection and “instant alarm,” as well as dancing and playing games with children. The company says Walker will “bridge the gap between technologies that were once only available in scientific research institutions and everyday people.”

How IoT and Cloud-based security will make cities safer in 2018
How IoT and Cloud-based security will make cities safer in 2018

In 2017 we saw a lot of new construction projects, and many existing buildings upgraded their security systems to include high-resolution cameras and better-quality recording systems. Because the economy is stronger, many businesses and municipalities increased their security budgets for large-scale and public projects due to terrorism threats in public places.   Smart cities became more popular One of the bigger trends we saw in 2017 is the growing popularity of smart cities and the adoption of public safety systems in both North American and Europe. This includes many cities creating wireless network infrastructure for public WiFi connectivity and for their surveillance network. Oftentimes smart cities develop because of an initial safe city initiative and then cities start to leverage the same infrastructure for more applications. Impact of terrorism Unfortunately, we saw a growth in terrorism attacks in 2017 in Europe and the United States. This has had a significant impact on security in public spaces where large groups of people congregate for entertainment, shopping and sporting events, all of which are now potential targets. We started to see cities install bollards on streets to prevent trucks from driving up on people on sidewalks and video surveillance systems so that police can monitor public spaces in real time. An example was the SuperBowl LIVE venue in Houston, which held several large outdoor events. To help monitor these events the city deployed a mmWave wireless network system for the surveillance cameras which were installed to monitor this area. Cybersecurity a growing concern In addition to terrorism threats, cybersecurity has become a growing concern and focus. More and more manufacturers, including Siklu, have begun to develop secure systems that are extremely difficult for hackers to gain access to because an encrypted network is no longer enough. The devices on the network also have to be secure. There is a growing shift towards younger generations wanting to live in the city where they have access to public transportation, restaurants and entertainment Looking ahead to 2018, the security market should expect to see continued growth in the use of video analytics for proactive surveillance purposes and more technology that leverages the intelligence of this data. Also, there is a growing shift towards younger generations wanting to live in the city where they have access to public transportation, restaurants and entertainment. They also expect to live in a safer environment and this is where the smart city approach comes into play with the introduction of WiFi in parks and public spaces, along with surveillance systems. These two solutions and services can now sit on the same network, thanks to better connectivity options and interference free solutions, such as mmWave wireless radios. Embracing new technology Next year the winners will be those who embrace new technology and do not solely focus on security. It’s important to embrace other IoT devices and recognise that video as a service is growing in demand. Cloud-based solutions are also growing for both video storage and monitoring management systems. The losers will be those who are not willing to embrace new technology, those who offer poor service and those who don’t expand their business to include professional services. Siklu success Siklu’s security business has doubled year over year, and there are now more than 100 cities globally with a Siklu radio deployed. This is because there is an increasing acceptance of our mmWave wireless technology and people are starting to recognise the benefits our systems provide when compared with installing new fiber or a traditional WiFi system. We recently introduced a new point-to-multipoint solution called MultiHaul™, which utilises immune narrow beams within a point-to-multipoint network topology and enables interference free connectivity and complete security. The solution’s 90-degree scanning antenna auto-aligns multiple terminal units from a single base unit, serving multiple locations while reducing installation times to minutes instead of hours by a single person and the total cost of ownership for end users.

SourceSecurity.com Top 10: What were security professionals reading in 2017?
SourceSecurity.com Top 10: What were security professionals reading in 2017?

SourceSecurity.com’s most trafficked articles in 2017 reflected changing trends in the market, from facial detection to drones, from deep learning to body worn cameras. Again in 2017, the most well-trafficked articles posted at SourceSecurity.com tended to be those that addressed timely and important issues in the security marketplace. In the world of digital publishing, it’s easy to know what content resonates with the market: Our readers tell us with their actions; i.e., where they click.   Let’s look back at the Top 10 articles posted at SourceSecurity.com in 2017 that generated the most page views. They are listed in order here with the author’s name and a brief excerpt. MOBOTIX is increasingly positioning itself as a specialist in high-quality IP surveillance software 1. MOBOTIX Aims High with Cybersecurity and Customer-Focused Solutions [Jeannie Corfield] With a new CEO and Konica Minolta on board, MOBOTIX is set for expansion on a global scale. But how much growth can we expect for a company like MOBOTIX in an increasingly commoditised surveillance market, where many of the larger players compete on price as a key differentiator? While MOBOTIX respects those players, the German manufacturer wants to tell a different story. Rather than competing as a camera hardware manufacturer, MOBOTIX is increasingly positioning itself as a specialist in high-quality IP surveillance software – camera units are just one part of an intelligent system. When MOBOTIX succeeds in telling this story, partners understand that it’s not about the price. 2. ‘Anti-Surveillance Clothing’ Creates a New Wrinkle in Facial Detection [Larry Anderson] The latest challenge to facial recognition technology is “anti-surveillance clothing,” aimed at confusing facial recognition algorithms as a way of preserving “privacy.” The clothing, covered with ghostly face-like designs to specifically trigger face-detection algorithms, are a backlash against the looming possibility of facial recognition being used in retail environments and for other commercial purposes. 3. Drone Terror: How to Protect Facilities and People [Logan Harris] Already, rogue groups such as ISIS have used low cost drones to carry explosives in targeted attacks. Using this same method, targeting high profile locations to create terror and panic is very possible. Security professionals and technologists are working furiously to address the gaps in drone defence. Compact Surveillance Radar (CSR) is a security technology addressing the problems with other types of detection. CSR, like traditional radar, has the benefit of being able to detect and track foreign objects in all weather conditions, but at a fraction of the size and cost. The last couple of years have seen a tremendous surge in research and advances surrounding a branch of Machine Learning called Deep Learning 4. Deep Learning Algorithms Broaden the Scope of Video Analytics [Zvika Anshani] Until recently there have been minimal applications of Machine Learning used in video analytics products, largely due to high complexity and high resource usage, which made such products too costly for mainstream deployment. However, the last couple of years have seen a tremendous surge in research and advances surrounding a branch of Machine Learning called Deep Learning. The recent increased interest in Deep Learning is largely due to the availability of graphical processing units (GPUs). GPUs can efficiently train and run Deep Learning algorithms 5. Body Worn Cameras: Overcoming the Challenges of Live Video Streaming [Mark Patrick] Most body camera manufacturers, that are trying to stream, attempt to use these consumer technologies; but they don’t work very well in the field, which is not helpful when you need to see what is happening, right now, on the ground. The video must be of usable quality, even though officers wearing the cameras may be moving and experiencing signal fluctuations – most mobile video produces significant delays and signal breakups. Video and audio must always remain in sync so there’s no confusion about who said what. Therefore, special technology is required that copes with poor and varying bandwidths to allow a real-time view of the scene and support immediate decision-making by local and remote team members and support teams moving to the scene. 6. QinetiQ Demonstrates New Privacy-Protecting Body Scanner for Crowded Places [Ron Alalouff] QinetiQ has developed a scanner that can be used in crowded places without having to slow down or stop moving targets. The body scanner, capable of detecting hidden explosives or weapons on a person, has been demonstrated publicly in the United Kingdom for the first time. SPO-NX from QinetiQ – a company spun out of the UK’s Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) in 2001 – can quickly screen large groups of people for concealed weapons or explosives in a passive, non-intrusive way, without needing people to stop or slow down. 7. ISC West 2017: How Will IT and Consumer Electronics Influence the Security Industry? [Fredrik Nilsson] A good way to predict trends [at the upcoming ISC West show] is to look at what’s happening in some larger, adjacent technology industries, such as IT and consumer electronics. Major trends on these fronts are the most likely to influence what new products will be launched in the electronic security industry. Proof in point is H.264, an advanced compression technology ratified in 2003 and adopted as the new standard by the consumer industry a few years later. By 2009, it became the new compression standard for the video surveillance industry as well. By drawing data from a number of different sources and subsystems, it is possible to move towards a truly smart environment 8. Integrating Security Management into Broader Building Systems [Gert Rohrmann] Security solutions should be about integration not isolation. Many organisations are considering their existing processes and systems and looking at how to leverage further value. Security is part of that focus and is a central component in the move towards a more integrated approach, which results in significant benefits. By drawing data from a number of different sources and subsystems, including building automation, it is possible to move towards a truly smart environment. 9. How to Use Video Analytics and Metadata to Prevent Terrorist Attacks [Yury Akhmetov] How we defend and prevent terrorism must be based on intelligent processing of information, and an early awareness of potential threats – and effective preventive action – may eliminate most attacks. Video analytics, automated surveillance and AI decision-making will change the rules of the struggle between civilians and terrorists by making attempted attacks predictable, senseless and silent. To what extent can technology investigate and prevent terror crimes considering the latest technology innovations? 10. Next Generation Video Analytics: Separating Fact from Fiction [Erez Goldstein] ‘Next generation video analytics’ is a catchy marketing phrase, is how much substance is behind it? Video analytics as a technology has been with us for many years, but there has always been an air of confusion and mystery around it, in large part created by Hollywood movies, where every camera is connected, an operator can search the network and locate the villain in a matter of seconds. I am pleased to say that, in many respects, fact has caught up with fiction, with the newest video analytics solutions that are now on the market focusing on search and specifically real-time search. These solutions have been tried, tested and proven to help reduce search time from hours to minutes and even seconds.