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Flash 8 could do the trick easily using only it's most basic animation tools. Given the scope you provided, a few other limitations come to mind. Flash is capable of rendering vector graphics at a very high speed, but all-to-often, the video graphics card of the user limits the speed that people can realistically view those graphics. If would like to discuss some additional technical details on this matter, please contact me.
Generally Bohilian is right with his statements, but I feel the need to rectify some of the things he said:
It is true that performance is can easily be an issue in the case you mentioned, but it is more due to the fact that Flash does not use (the more advanced features of) modern video cards, but the cpu to draw things.
True that the kind of animation you want to have is quite easily achieved with flash, but it seems very likely that a little of actionscript would be needed to solve the problem in addition to "basic animation tool". Most likely you'll be best of with a mask that is moved by some actionscript.
Depending on how precise your measurements would have to be Flash can be problematic, as it's timing is allway (to some degree at least) depended on the frame rate (even setInterval is!) - on the other hand regarding the fact that reaction times might have an influence on the measured time it can be that it is not too much of a problem.
In any case it seems advisable, to run a test animation and measure the time that animation took, if it exceeds the given timeframe (by a certain amount) I’d tell the user that it’s machine is not suited to produce correct results.
If it has to run in web browsers I’d say even with that limitations, there is no real alternative to Flash as a technology.