Starting in the late 1920s, a series of top-secret experiments took place at nearby Fort Monmouth. In 1935, the U.S. military set up shop at the Twin Lights to test what the newspapers were calling a "Mystery Ray." The secret experiments weren't a particularly well-kept secret.
Later the "mystery" was solved. These were the first radar experiments. The progress made at the Twin Lights helped to jump-start a technology program that changed the course of history. Within a few years America was at war. The radar program begun at the Twin Lights saved countless thousands of lives, and was in many ways the difference between victory and defeat.
The radar shown in the movie Pearl Harbor is technically and historically correct. It was the US Army SCR 270-B s/n 012 - similar to the radar tested at the Twin Lights before World War II. The SCR-270 -B s/n 012 array detected the Japanese attack on the morning of December 7, 1941-but was so new that its crew was unsure how to interpret what they were seeing on-screen. mce_style="mso-spacerun: yes">
The SCR-270 search radar was tested extensively at Twin Lights and later the SCR270-1's were stationed near the lighthouse until the early 1950's.
Within four years of that day, the technology developed at the Twin Lights was downscaled so dramatically that it could fit in the head of an antiaircraft shell. These were the shells that enabled Navy ships to shoot down Kamimazes in such large numbers in the waning days of the war.
The trend of smaller, smarter, faster is a lot older than you think!