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SNOWMOBILE DIGEST

December 20, 2004
Filed under Features

ARCTIC CAT PARTNERS WITH UND
Arctic Cat is helping the University of North Dakota (UND) test its earth-observing sensor that will be launched into space, Arctic Cat said.
The company is donating the use of its Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) sound chamber for acoustic testing of UND’s Agricultural Camera (AgCam). AgCam is an imaging system designed by UND for use onboard the International Space Station (ISS). When operational, the AgCam will provide farmers and ranchers immediate information about the health of their fields.
“We are honored and proud to be associated with UND’s AgCam program,” said Bala Holalkere, engineering design manager, NVH. “Our semi-anechoic chamber is designed and built for stringent specification, and UND’s desire to get their payload acoustic performance tested in our chamber is testimonial to the technical sophistication of Arctic Cat’s facilities, equipment and its people.”
For NASA, noise is a critical concern for astronauts in the close confines of the ISS. Noise fatigue can drain astronauts’ effectiveness. All payloads and equipment destined for the Space Station, including AgCam, must meet tight requirements for low noise levels, and must be accurately tested in order to be certified flight-ready by NASA.

GROUP COMPLAINS ABOUT SNOWMOBILE LETTERS
Consumer group Public Citizen, in a complaint filed Nov. 18 with the House Commission on Congressional Mailing Standards, accused House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo, R-Calif., of violating rules for taxpayer-funded mail, including one that prohibits excessively political or partisan content. The complaint relates to the mailing of fliers touting President Bush’s actions on behalf of snowmobilers.
More than 175,000 fliers sent before the election to people in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Montana and Wyoming promoted a Bush administration decision to keep the Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks open to snowmobilers. The fliers cost $68,081 in taxpayer money, according to published reports.
Two environmental lawyers from Minnesota also have filed a complaint about the mailers. Pombo was informed by the mailing standards commission Tuesday of their complaint and has 10 days to respond.
Resources Committee spokesman Brian Kennedy told the Associated Press that Pombo OK’d the fliers with the mailing standards commission, part of the House Administration Committee, before sending them. He contended that committees are not bound by a rule against House members sending mailers at taxpayer expense within 90 days of an election.

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