This work presents an experimental study focused on a challenging signal interpretation issue arising in using wireless tri-axial sensors to measure acceleration components in rotating flexible rotor systems. Experiments with state of-the-art (modern technology microsystems) wireless accelerometers reveal that the dynamics of a rotating and-at the same time torsionally vibrating-flexible rotor system is perceived by the rotating sensor as a fast amplitude modulation of a slowly varying vibration. It is observed that the typical signal furnished by the rotating sensor consists of two distinct zones of harmonics: one is a broad band low frequency zone and is associated with the rigid body rotational motion, whereas the other zone contains distinct higher frequencies associated with torsional vibrations. The interesting result is the fact that in the frequency domain the fast torsional vibrations can be extracted sharply from the overall sensor signal. This is due to fact that the dynamics of the sensor output are characterized by slow and fast time scales. It turns out that the high harmonics of the rotating-and-vibrating system (generic motion) are very close to those of the non-rotating-but-torsionally vibrating system. A definite answer to a physics interpretation of the typical output of a rotating accelerometer (oscillator-based) is established by modeling the whole flexible rotor-sensor system as a singular perturbation coupled oscillators problem. This geometric mechanics modeling-analysis approach presents a global picture of the acceleration sensing property of stiff linear oscillators attached on rotating structures.

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