worked on a radio-range system for the early airmail routes and on radio navigation beacons for the Airways Division of the U.S. Bureau of Lighthouses. Moving to the Bureau of Standards, he accepted an assignment as a radio engineer with the Byrd Antarctic expedition. Leaving behind his new bride, Lillian Fulks, he flew with Byrd on the first Antarctic flight—a reconnaissance mission to find a path through the ice for the ship to reach the base. Once in Antarctica, Berkner's major duty was to assist Malcolm Hanson in setting up the radio communication equipment on which the success of the expedition depended. Little America's seventy-foot antenna masts made radio communication possible with the expedition's aircraft and stations all over the world.
After the facilities at Little America were completed, Berkner returned with the ships to Dunedin to set up a station that would link Little America with the outside world. Extensive radio operations halfway round the globe to and from Antarctica represented an early epoch in long-distance radio communication and made the Byrd expedition an early "media event." Lillian joined Lloyd in Dunedin, and later the two took part in the Byrd expedition's triumphal tour of New Zealand.5
In addition to operating the relay link station for communications from Antarctica, Berkner monitored the strengths of the signals from stations in Great Britain and the United States. He reported his analysis of these data in his first scientific publication.6
On returning to the Bureau in 1930, Berkner continued his study of radio transmission conditions. He persuaded the Bureau7 to initiate a half-million dollar project for studies of the ionosphere using radio-pulse transmissions—a technique developed five years earlier by Breit and Tuve at the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM), Carnegie Institution of Washington (CIW). This was the first of his