From Unofficial BOINC Wiki
One of the first applications to make use of the new BOINC Client Software is a Project we call AstroPulse. This Project will re-examine the existing SETI@Home data tapes for a new type of signal, radio pulses that only last for a microsecond.
This type of signal is different from those which would be caught by SETI@Home. Since the pulses are so fast, they are Broadband Signals. We need the full 2.5 MHz bandwidth for maximum sensitivity, whereas SETI@Home breaks up this frequency band into 256 10 kHz sub-bands. Also, pulses traveling through the interstellar medium (the thin gas which fills the space between stars in our galaxy) become "dispersed", or stretched out in time. We can correct for this effect with a specialized algorithm (known as "coherent de-dispersion"), but it is very computation intensive, which is why this is a good Distributed Computing Project.
There are several possible sources for this type of signal. One possible source which is already known is called a Pulsar. This is a rapidly spinning neutron star which "beams" radiation at us every time it rotates. Our search may uncover new pulsars, since no one has looked for pulses this fast before. Another possibility is extraterrestrial civilizations - a series of pulses could be an easily recognized signal, and a pulse with negative dispersion would stand out as obviously artificial (natural dispersion always causes faster frequencies to arrive first). A third possibility is an evaporating black hole. It has been theorized that a black hole which completely evaporates will give out a short radio pulse at the end of its life, but no one has seen this happen yet. Our search will be at least 100 times more sensitive than previous efforts.