Chartis Federal: Mission-Critical Communications for the Federal Government

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Nick McCarter, CEO and Brian Creswick, COO
Federal agencies execute their mission across the United States and abroad. This geographic scale creates complexities for law enforcement, public safety, and homeland security. First, there are diverse operating environments. In many cases, a tactical solution for an urban setting is not effective in rural or remote areas. Second, nationwide or global responsibilities require expansive systems and infrastructure. These large technology implementations are costly to maintain and challenging to modernize. As a result, agencies find themselves relying on legacy systems that lack capabilities available in the market. Third, federal officers, agents, and field personnel must collaborate with other entities. Interoperability among federal, state, local, and tribal organizations continues to be a focus for assuring the effectiveness and safety of those who protect and serve.

Chartis Federal has spent the last decade helping solve these types of challenges. “Chartis is a systems engineering and integration firm that specializes in mission-critical communications,” said Brian Creswick, COO at Chartis. “We have staff in almost 20 states supporting wireless communications programs with national and international reach. Because we’re on-the-ground, we often understand the operational realities and constraints for federal organizations better than companies with a local or regional portfolio.”

Chartis leverages this understanding to help customers engineer and integrate modern, resilient, and secure communications capabilities. Chartis also provides expertise for enterprise initiatives such as strategic planning, acquisition support, and program management. As one example, a federal law enforcement agency engaged Chartis to relocate and upgrade its communications hub in the Pacific Northwest. This hub housed legacy Land Mobile Radio (LMR) technologies that supported over 300 officers in 950 facilities across four different states. The timeline was short. Some facilities were located on mountaintops accessed only by helicopter, and some were in rural areas with insufficient infrastructure.
Limited funding also required a solution that incorporated new technology but reused a large portion of legacy assets.

In less than a month, Chartis defined requirements, evaluated alternatives, designed and tested the solution, supported streamlined acquisition, and implemented the upgraded system into full production. Creswick recalls, “This was one of those high-profile, urgent, front page-type projects. Our team performed well, transitioning the customer to a standards-based Radio over Internet Protocol (RoIP) architecture with new security and remote monitoring capabilities. It is saving the organization almost a million dollars per year. But the most meaningful outcome was our customer’s recognition and statement that ‘at no time was there a failure or outage that jeopardized officer safety.’”

In addition to the company’s core services, Chartis recently began offering turnkey solutions and making targeted Research and Development (R&D) investments. “Our mission is to keep America’s heroes safe and connected, on the border and in our backyards,” said Nick McCarter, CEO at Chartis. “We are constantly exploring new ways to better enable our customers.”

Chartis built and maintains their Periscope R&D laboratory at its headquarters in Virginia. Periscope allows the company to perform research on new technologies, conduct independent integration testing, isolate and analyze issues, and evaluate integrated solutions based on requirements. Current emphasis includes LMR-LTE convergence, deployable systems, alternative backhaul solutions, and standards-based interoperability. The company also recently announced Periscope Aviation, the result of a Chartis R&D effort to innovate drone airframes. “We see a gap in the market that is impacting our customers,” explained McCarter. “Current unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are either built for hobbyists and unreliable for mission-critical operations or are designed for specialized military applications making them cost-prohibitive. We are excited to offer high-performing tactical UAVs that are specifically optimized to enhance C4ISR for law enforcement, public safety, and homeland security operations and other potential needs.”

Company
Chartis Federal

Headquarters
McLean, VA

Management
Nick McCarter, CEO and Brian Creswick, COO

Description
Chartis Federal is a systems engineering and integration firm that specializes in mission-critical communications for law enforcement, public safety, and homeland security

Chartis Federal