This one fans out to detect nearby objects. Also increased the amount of frames to smooth things out. Still rough around the edges, no fancy visual effects or polish yet, but the basic movement is there. Probably needs to be a little brighter/more transparent in future revisions.
As I was planning out a triangular/fan shaped animation, the motion of the beam in the sketches reminded me of a kind of swimming motion-- starting off with elbows jutting sideways close to your body, then locked in a straight line ahead, then fanning outward, so I tried to play off of that for the movement of the ray.