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How a scalable video system faithfully defends a historic military asset

luglio 14, 2021
While it was once commissioned to defend the nation, today the USS Midway protects guests onboard the popular aircraft carrier museum. Using Milestone System's open platform video management system (VMS), the USS Midway Museum combines high resolution cameras with creative video storage options to meet the attraction's long-term archiving demands.


USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum


San Diego, California

Camera count



Layer3 Security Services, National Security Works

Challenge: Help to protect history

As a museum, the retired USS Midway Aircraft Carrier offers the public the opportunity to visit the decks of an important part of US military history. In recent years, the museum was outgrowing its original video management system, which consisted of a mere 40 cameras.


The museum’s need for a new video surveillance system stemmed from the desire to protect both guests and the unique premises. When accidents happen onboard, the team must be notified immediately, so medical assistance can be deployed as fast as possible.


Furthermore, liability had become a growing concern. High-quality video, good coverage, and reliable data storage is critically important to manage such matters. Longer-term video retention is vital in debunking false claims or establishing liability in the event of an incident.


The museum knew they wanted a leading-edge installation, so Milestone’s XProtect® Professional+ open platform video management software (VMS) was chosen.

Solution: Curved lines of sight

Milestone XProtect Corporate and Mobile Clients

  • Network cameras from Axis, BOSCH, Hanwha Techwin and VIVOTEK
  • Mobile servers from Dell Technologies
  • Installation by Layer3 Security Services
  • Flexibility to expand the system or change hardware in the future

Because the USS Midway ship does not have many flat walls and surfaces, custom camera mounts were created and installed. Most of the cameras were four-stream, multi-image units that provide 360° coverage of the museum, including the main decks, hangar bays and other expansive areas.


Several long-range, 12-megapixel cameras from BOSCH were installed on the flight deck, for extended coverage. The zoom capabilities of these cameras cover museum areas from a distance and achieve an optimum viewing angle.


The museum also set up a high-resolution, 360° AXIS camera above the parking garage, and Hanwha cameras inside for a full view of the entire facility’s activity. The video runs back to the ship’s central Milestone VMS via a wireless point-to-point connection.


The USS Midway now has over 100 high-resolution cameras and growing. The Milestone XProtect open platform VMS supports the flexible mix of camera brands that achieves the wide variety of monitoring needs for this special museum.

Result: High-quality video lets them get a closer look

Because the captured video is often needed for forensic use, the cameras must record high-quality video when using the VMS to zoom in and view details after an incident. While plans are in development to build a new Security Operations Center with full-time staff for live video security monitoring, the current setup provides reliable, affordable video retention.


The non-profit museum couldn’t afford the expense of traditional storage systems, so the need for long-term archiving necessitated creative storage options. With the Milestone system and flexible server integrations, the security team was able to customize its storage configuration several times with no issues. After adapting parameters and trying new approaches, they are able to achieve about 24 months of archived video.


The Milestone VMS has been doing its duty defending the USS Midway and will continue to be a key contributor to safety onboard, as the museum fine tunes and expands the system over time.

Simply stated, we’re a small company that wants to do big things. We don’t have a huge budget, so we need to be very efficient in everything we do. Like many public attractions, our video surveillance system is primarily about protection for our guests, so we need high-quality video, good coverage, and a lot of long-term storage. Milestone’s open platform has been great. We can try different solution approaches, especially when it comes to servers and video storage management.

Joe Gursky, Director of IT, USS Midway Museum
About the USS Midway

The USS Midway was the longest-serving aircraft carrier of the 20th century. It has played critical roles in such conflicts as the Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf.


In 1992, the Midway was decommissioned and donated to the non-profit San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum organization, who opened it as the USS Midway Museum in June 2004. The huge ship exhibits an extensive collection of aircraft onboard. It has welcomed nearly 1.5 million visitors annually, including around 50,000 students on field trips and 5,000 children in an exciting overnight program. Cleared for take-off! Welcome aboard.

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