Agricultural environments often face multiple biotic and abiotic stresses, jeopardizing food, fibre and energy production. Ensuring food security in the medium and long-terms will require the active release of cultivars with consistent high yield stability and improved resilience to water stress conditions, particularly in drought-prone regions where climatic changes are expected to be exacerbated. Field-based high-throughput phenotyping platforms (HTPPs) facilitate the screening of large populations to be able to evaluate and discover meaningful drought-adaptive traits and accelerate the identification of superior genotypes in an accurate and cost-effective manner. For doing so, the HTPPs rely on sensors to characterise either relevant traits or an integrative signal, e.g. photosynthesis, which may serve as a robust selection parameter for crop performance. Chlorophyll fluorescence (ChlF) has become a powerful and widely used non-invasive technique in plant ecophysiology for helping to elucidate the fundamentals of photosynthesis. Even though ChlF has often been proposed as suitable for screening drought, it has not yet been really adopted in breeding programs. This is partially due to the fact that the majority of the existing instruments measure at low-throughput, with limited potential for automation, and are mainly constrained to controlled conditions. Recently the light-induced fluorescence transient (LIFT) sensor has been shown to successfully provide active ChlF data collected at a distance for rapid characterisation of photosynthetic traits, e.g. the operating efficiency of photosystem II (Fq’/Fm’). In the present study, the LIFT instrument was mounted on a manually pushed cart to measure over multiple days a large panel of 252 elite accessions of durum wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. durum) subjected to a progressive drought stress in a replicated field trial in Maricopa, Arizona, USA. Integrating these measurements with high spatiotemporal resolution environmental data, the LIFT sensor helped to interpret the genotype x environment interaction, and to prospect drought-adaptive traits.