If a photoevent lands exactly in the middle of a CCD pixel so that little charge is shared with adjacent pixels, the signal is about 45 DN above the background level. Thus, in a single frame, about half of the pixels will be saturated at 255 DN in regions where the accumulated flux is as high as about 5 photoevents pixel-1.
Successive frames are added into the contents of an accumulating memory that has a capacity of 16 bits in each pixel address location. With some exceptions, images made during the first ORFEUS-SPAS flight discussed in §6 were accumulations of 511 frames, representing an exposure integration time of 34 seconds. If desired, shorter accumulations can be made, with options of 1, 63, 127 and 255 frames.
Images can be stored within any of 128 exposure locations in volatile memory. At appropriate times, the images are transferred to permanent storage on the spacecraft's tape recorder. Because of the limited bandwidth of the tape recorder, the transfer takes 49 seconds. Camera exposures and data transfers must be done in sequence, and thus the transfer time represents a real loss in observing time.